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Full text of "A history of Persia"

NASIR-U-DIN SHAH.

CHAPTER LXXIX

THE   ENVELOPMENT   OF   PERSIA
From Merv, last home of the free-lance, the clansmen are scattering far,
And the Turkman horses are harnessed to the guns of the Russian Czar.
SIR ALFRED LYALL,
The Advance of Russia in Central Asia.—In the first
half of the nineteenth century the most important events
that affected Persia were the advance of Russia across the
Caucasus and the annexation by that power, after two
successful campaigns, of all the Persian provinces that lay
to the north of the Aras. The latter half of the same
century has witnessed a still greater advance of the
northern power in Central Asia, ending in the marking
out of a frontier line coterminous with that of Persia to
the east of the Caspian Sea. I propose, therefore, to give
some account of this extraordinary southern movement.1
The first Russian embassy to Khiva and Bokhara,
conducted by Antony Jenkinson in the sixteenth century,
has already been recorded in Chapter LXIL Early in
the eighteenth century Peter the Great entered into
relations with the Khanates of Khiva and Bokhara, and
the ruler of the former state declared himself ready to
accept Russian suzerainty in return for protection against
Bokhara. In 1715 a column under Count Bekovich was
1 The authorities consulted (in addition to works already mentioned) include
Narrative of a Journey from Herat to Khiva, 1856, by Major James Abbott $ From
Heraut to Ourenbourg, by Capt. Sir R. Shakespear (Blackwood* s Magazine, June, 1842);
A Ride to Khiva, by Capt. F. Burnaby; Life and Travels, by Arminius Vambe'ry; The
Oasis, by E. 0*Donovan; and Eastern Persia, by Sir F. Goldsmid.
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